With church planting comes sacrifice. Eight days after my husband and I were married, we packed up a u-haul and moved to Nashville to plant a church. The usual newlywed year was wrapped up in eight days of honeymoon, then we took on the challenge of first year church planting. While this is a bit extreme, I think we can all relate in some sort to the sacrifices we have had to make to die to ourself and run for the desires and dreams God has given us to plant churches.
There have been date nights, family days, sick days, hard days, and anything in between that has had to be overlooked numerous times for other people and the church. While I was probably selfish numerous times, and frustrated life didn't look the way I wanted it to selfishly. Looking back I wouldn't have changed it. I recently read a book, Love Does. In the book, the gentleman sacrifices something most wouldn't, to love a friend. He sacrificed the first few days after his wedding to spend with a friend. No he didn't sacrifice for a best friend, or even a good friend. But a friend he felt moved to love. Those few days, he showed his love by traveling and staying with his friend five hours away and encouraging the friend he is "for him" no matter what.
I think, that is a whole lot like church planting. We put ourselves and our desires on hold, not because we are forced to, but because we are moved by this action called love. God has planted deep within our hearts, a desire to love His church and love on people. We love on people who come and go. People who are hurting. We love on those who are playing the church card. We love on those who are thirsty for more and more of Jesus. And in the midst of it all, we try to die to ourselves willingly because ultimately people and Jesus are more important in those moments, than a date night or a first year of newlywed marriage.
When sacrifice becomes hard, is the moment our flesh starts taking hold. We are born into sin, and our flesh is born selfish. We are a "me" centered world. However, with the beauty of Jesus, the bride of Christ, and church planting, selfishness died to sacrifice. Not because it had to, but because sacrifice is willing. Sacrifice was never meant to be an obligation but an offering.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor